By Derrick Blakley

CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Democrats have launched a new television ad campaign against their No. 1 adversary, Gov. Bruce Rauner, even though he’s not on the ballot.

As CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley says, it’s another wrinkle in the ongoing tussle between the state’s two most powerful politicians.

At an event to promote cutting government red tape Monday, Rauner says he hasn’t seen the latest political attack against him.

“This is the silly season. I don’t pay any attention, I’m focused on Illinois,” He said.

New TV ads supported by some of the state’s richest Democrats, links Rauner directly with Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump.

The political action committee, dubbed Leading Illinois for Tomorrow, is organized by Evanston State Sen. Daniel Biss.

“Gov. Rauner has not repudiated that statement, not said he’s when, here’ why,” Biss says.

But when asked about Trump, Rauner won’t even mention his name. Other prominent Republicans, avoid it too.

Asked, “You still think Donald Trump can win? Rep. Peter Roskam rushed off saying,”Oh, heaven help me, I’v got to go.”

Still, Republicans say the anti-Rauner ads come from defenders of the status quo.

“He’s been trying to change the direction the state’s going in because it’s going in the wrong direction,” said a representative of Americans For Prosperty. “And they want to stop that.”

Meanwhile, Biss denies that his ad campaign is a reaction to a movie funded by a republican think tank, which paints Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan as the source of Illinois’ problems.

“I haven’t seen it. Don’t plan to view it,” Madigan says of the video.


Derrick Blakley